Saturday, November 1, 2014

Talib bin Mamari, former Omani Shura member sentenced to 3 years

Talib bin Mamari, the former Shura member was sentenced to three years jail last Thursday. This was the final judgement from the Muscat Appeals court; however, the verdict is appealable to the Supreme court. He was convicted of wrongful gathering, blocking the roads (referring to a protest in Liwa over the pollution of the Port), and inciting and undermining the State (apparently there was a fiery speech made in the local mosque by Mr Mamari when out on bail). An elected Municipal council member from Liwa was also convicted of wrongful gathering and sentenced to one year jail term. Mr. Mamari's immunity from prosecution (Shura members have immunity from most crimes) was lifted and his member seat lost as he is convicted of a crime.

I find the verdict reasonable for the region considering in other Middle Eastern nations the verdict for inciting or undermining the state could be death penalty (such as last month in Saudi - the Shia protest leaders) or more than 10 years (UAE) or just locked and never heard from again. On the other hand, I find the citizens complaint of the pollution also reasonable and that I hope that they have been heard and something is done to improve the situation.

The press release from Amnesty International regarding Al Mamari:

Omani jail is survivable. I know several westerns who have been locked up for less than thirty days in local jail. They said they were not beaten but slept on the hard floor (however - I have heard that (beating) has happened on interrogation of other cases). Many of the fellow residents were from India and Bangladesh. I was able to visit one friend in jail and bring him English reading materials and snacks. Also, the ROP officer made us tea during the visit. Not to say his served time was a piece of cake, my 'inmate' friend was quite torn up over the experience but came out unscathed before being deported back down under.

Mr Mamari at Liwa protest

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